Grant Cooper, recently-retired Artistic Director of the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, is completing an intensive ten days of teaching and musical collaboration at Fairmont State University.
The residency is the brainchild of Dr. Bob Mild, Dean of the School of Fine Arts. “The idea of having Maestro Cooper serve as an artist-in-residence came to me when I observed him teaching a class here at Fairmont State,” says Mild. “Grant likes to teach. We know him primarily as a conductor, but when you see him in the classroom, you can see the passion. Guest artists like him provide a memorable, world-class experience for our students.”
Cooper describes the delight that this residency provides: “I have always enjoyed exploring the complexities of relationships that exist between seemingly contrasting fields of human endeavor. I am thrilled by the invitation to be in residence at Fairmont State University where we are able to explore with students, faculty, and the community some of these areas of study that have emerged over the course of my professional career, from music to mathematics.”
Cooper’s residency included: serving as the guest conductor for the Collegiate Singers and Wind Ensemble spring concerts; being the featured speaker at “Beauty in Mathematics,” a symposium that examines the relationship between mathematics and the arts; and lending his expertise to a wide variety of classes and campus organizations.
Cooper arrived on campus on April 23 and immediately jumped into rehearsals for “Project: Purcell.” This collaboration with the Fairmont state choirs culminated in concert performances of the opera Dido and Aeneas on April 27 and 28. He also led the Wind Ensemble in a performance of the “English Folk Song Suite” by Ralph Vaughan Williams at their spring concert on May 2.